No Clothes Horse, He
After 15 years on Wall Street, Allan Shwartzstein still wore the watch he had received for his bar mitzvah. He preferred ratty denim shirts and hole-ridden khakis to the cuff links and starched collars more typical of Cantor Fitzgerald equities traders. That is what he wore on his second date with his wife, Amy, and still, she said, she married him. He promptly lost his wedding ring. "It just wasn't him," she said.
"He was somebody that, what you saw was what you got," she added. "This was not the guy that was going to hold the door open or worry about what came out of his mouth, or worry about what I looked like. He was genuine."
Mr. Shwartzstein was the kind of man for whom other people had a hard time buying presents, but who would always remember when it was time to buy them for others. "He would call and say: `Don't tell him I told you, but it's John's birthday. Call him,' " said Jay Scharf, a best friend.
Even as a child, he seemed older than his years. "When he came home, he did not go straight to the friends to play with them," said his father, Avi. "He would stand first with the parents and have a mature conversation.
Allan, 37 and the father of two, was named after an uncle who was killed in Israel in 1948. The uncle's body has never been found, Avi Shwartzstein said. Neither has Allan's.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 9, 2001.